we'll call it c-section saturday.

Well, it's not like we got Sam in there and cooking in the most traditional way, so I guess it's pretty darn fitting that we aren't getting him out the traditional way either. Doctors put you in, doctors pull you out - we are a very all natural family.

Let's back it up.

So, we had our 38 week doctor appointment yesterday. As per usual, my belly was measuring in the Mt. Everest/Kilimanjaro range at a little more than 41 weeks and even a two year can see that it's a big baby in there. This is not rocket science. The kid is enormous.

My doctor ordered the "fat baby ultrasound" for today. That is (not) the medical term for it, obviously, but it's what I called it. It's a late term ultrasound to get an idea on his size. It's the "will he?" "won't he?" fit ultrasound. They can be super inaccurate at predicting weight - up to 30% off - so we knew we would take the information with grain of salt.

Or not.

The ultrasound - we had it this morning - showed that Sam has indeed gotten a tad too big. By a tad, I mean a lot. As in his belly has accumulated lots and lots of fat in the last few weeks and is literally measuring off the charts. His head could probably fit, but the difference between head, shoulders, and belly - well, we would for sure have an "I'm stuck!" situation. Using his bone length, belly size, and head size, the estimate is 11 pounds 3 ounces.

I know. I asked if there was a problem or something to worry about, because I'm obviously panicked and handling this super well (nope), but the doctors have assured us there isn't. A small belly would concern them. Big means he is having a great time in there.

So, they are pulling the plug on us Saturday. Sam will be cooked to 39 weeks and will get to see the world on a beautiful Seattle spring day. We did our homework and the reasoning they've given us for the scheduled "c" has been fully supported by several medical reports and studies that Chuck somehow found in the limited time that we had to process this all (and I promise none of them were web forums or mommy blogs - the doctor actually referenced the same studies). Thank God Chuck's smart and learn-ed because I was a hot mess.

I cried a lot today because I had this picture in my head of what birth would be like and desperately wanted to feel what (though horrible, terrible, and awful) is what women are made to feel and endure. And it doesn't help that I missed out on other experiences getting to this pregnancy with IVF. I feel like I lost another little piece of "normal" today.

But then I back up. And take in some perspective.

It's a miracle that I'm pregnant in the first place.  And it's a miracle I'll get to hold my biological baby on Saturday, a dream that nearly escaped us and has escaped plenty of couples. Yes, he will be the huge baby that is birthed into 12 month onesies via a scheduled c-section and will need his fat rolls wiped out, but he will be ours and he will be here on Saturday.

We are almost four years to the day of when Chuck and I first decided we wanted to start a family. I will take that family any way it comes, so C-Section Saturday it is.

literally approaching the expiration date. literally.

Oh it is getting real around here.

Sure when I hear I'm 12 days from my due date I know that it's soon or when I actually look at a calendar I get all excited, but it got real real today. Heart attack real.

Today, we bought milk with an expiration date after Baby's due date. Let that one sink in. With the way that we revere cereal eating around here, that was like a sign from God or finding Mary's face on a Cheeto. It makes it real. I'm sure the milk expiration date calendar system is as heavily revered in your house as it is in ours.

And on top of the milk that conceivably could still be fresh and living here for his birth (if Captain Crunch wasn't so delicious), now we are doing the real stuff around here to get ready. The stuff that isn't as much fun as making mobiles and banners. Like folding all the baby laundry, and buying nursing bras, and installing the car seat (ps: guess who read the entire instruction manual cover to cover and watched the training video online and read through the car's owner's manual? Here's a hint: the only member of this house with a BMI below morbidly obese. Also, let's continue with this massive parentheses, because that same someone may have gone a tad overboard with making sure the car was level for the inaugural car seat installation - apparently there is a slight slope to our garage - and my car was put on block to make it perfectly level. It's not like I can be super judgy about this. You can't really fault someone for wanting their baby to be safe or make fun of them about it, so I guess we'll just file this under moments that scream Chuck Allison and are entirely expected.).

Then yesterday we made "The Target Run" for all the really great postpartum items that I will need to make it through the aftermath of birth - which, btdub, does not involves fairies and wishes and magic dust like I was told/invented in my head:
~depends, maxi pads, liners
~Tuck's pads
~giant old lady underpants
~water proof sheet for if my water breaks at night or I wet the bed (both solid possibilities)
~and about a million different creams for the various ailments that I'm about to host

Birth sounds super fun people. Post-birth even more.

Obviously, there's a lot of sarcasm laced in those sentences which I'm guessing you picked up on. And what's worse, not only did I sign up for this and want this, but I actually paid good money for what I'm about to go through. Not sure what that says about me, but I do know what it says I can hold over Sam for most of his life.

Twelve days. We have our 38 week appointment tomorrow morning so we'll officially start taking bets on Sam's birth-day after that AND height and weight - which I think is way more fun to bet on at this point. My position has remained the same throughout the last few weeks - I'm not so much interested in length as I am in width, if you catch my drift. We shall see...

practicing before baby comes. obviously with the cat.

So much good news to report.

1. The front pack works.
2. Jack did not hate it.

This picture is at about minute 4 in the front pack, which is basically an eternity for a cat to be shoved into a baby carrier. I emphasize that he really did not hate this. Had I not started blowing him up with my camera flash like he was a Kardashian cat, this probably could have lasted a considerable amount of time.

Please to make sure you note the front paw coming through the opening and his chicken legs out the back. He is, without a doubt, the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen. If the baby is even half as cute as he is, I will die. I'm pretty sure statements like that will ensure that Baby Sam and Jack are arch nemeses.

And FYI, that chalkboard in the background is a tad old and my fat, waddling buh-hind just does not have the energy to change it. We are 37 weeks and don't we know it.

just some night time nesting

So it's a little after 11 pm on a Saturday night and obviously, I just cleaned out the fridge for a little night time nesting.

We found some interesting specimens in the fridge. For example, the cause of the smell was not from the Easter eggs as we had first anticipated, but rather the cilantro rotting cleverly hiding in the crisper. Funny story, I don't remember the last recipe I made that called for cilantro so its mere existence in our fridge is truly mind boggling. Obviously we were confused on the longevity of the cilantro in the crisper. Is it 3-5 days or 3-5 weeks?

Maybe this post isn't so much about nesting as it is about hoarding.
(Wipe the judgy look off your face.)

In a standard Allison family fridge clean out, the perishables, the obviously molding items and at least one of the three sour creams that I always have in there are thrown out. Chuck typically takes care of this and usually it happens the night before garbage night OR (Murphy's law) the night before I need all three sour creams. Great Allison divides have been caused by the sour cream hoarding, but that is another story. Focus, Susie.

In the "oh em gee, we're having a baby" rush, the fridge was neglected the past few garbage nights in favor of nursery prep and projects. Apparently, we found it more important to have the house be pretty for Baby Sam than hygienically sound.

What rarely (and by rarely I mean, never) gets cleaned out is the fridge door. The final resting place of the brothers Sauce: soy, teriyaki, BBQ. Paul Newman frequents the door in salad dressing form, as does many a half used salsa.

Tonight, I bravely decided to go where clearly no Allison has gone before in this house: the fridge door. Partly because of nesting reasons and partly because there had been a condiments take over on the main fridge shelves which clearly violated the Frigidaire Treaty of 1908. That treaty may be made up, but the property line in a fridge is not.

I began to work my way through the door looking at expiration dates alone. It was a startling experience and one I'm unlikely to forget. Some of the items have been with us so long, it seemed careless and casual to so easily throw them out.

The mango chutney, expired June 2010.
The summer before his unfortunate expiration, our first summer in the house, I did a lot of chutney experimenting. Judging by the amount used, I would say the experiments did not go well.

Bull's-Eye Barbecue, expired November 2009. What's offensive about the Bull's-Eye Barbecue is that we are Sweet Baby Ray's people. I have no idea how this monstrosity ended up poisoning our door.

Horseradish. No expiration date on bottle. Concerns: we don't like or use horseradish. I can't think of a single recipe ever that went with this, and (though you can't tell in the picture), it's definitely not the right color for horseradish. Lot of issues with this one. Kind of like how Chuck and I have a lot of issues.

A final group picture.

Oh wait. One friend was missing from the group picture:

His name is Apple Cider Vinegar.
I knew immediately where I bought this, why I bought this, and most shockingly, when I bought this. I also noticed that it's a bit cloudy and I'm pretty sure apple cider vinegar isn't supposed to do that. But I did know that he was the clear "winner" (obviously we knew that someone in the fridge door would be the oldest and/or have the best story to tell and would win some sort of soiled food prize).

The expiration date, for starters, is July 2007.
Let that sink in for a second as you try to figure out the shelf life of vinegar.

I bought Mr. Cider Vinegar in February 2005 at the 18th Street Deli when I made my Dad's favorite - Japanese Chicken - for Chuck. We were definitely seniors in college and engaged. This bottle for sure predates our marriage.

Chuck has now begun accusing me of not fully committing to our marriage, trying to pull some ploy regarding Community Property with Vinegar (because that definitely exists). I clearly brought my own vinegar into the union and have kept it separate and hidden from him in hopes of winning its custody in the divorce. Except not, because maybe we should be cleaning out the fridge door more than once every eight years and things like apple cider vinegar from college wouldn't exist.

But he does exist.
And he is glorious.

And for those of you who know us well, as many of you do, I'm guessing you are probably wondering what we did with Mr. Cider Vinegar (because throwing him away is clearly not a given with his beautiful and storied past).

Sleep tight sweet prince.

how-to: making a mobile for dirt cheap.

Ok so I warned you that a few how-to's were coming. If you are not interested in bonding with your inner Martha today, then move right along. Sawrreeeaaa.

So I think most of you know or have gathered through the years that whilst I may love Nordstrom with all my heart and soul, I am for sure a miser deep down. Bottom line, if I had the option of spending money or storing it in a tower and swimming in it (I love you Scrooge McDuck), I would swim in it. And then bath in hand sanitizer, obviously. Let's be real.

That's part of the reason I made a lot of the stuff for Baby Sam's room. I just can't justify spending money on something I know I can make cheaper. But my crafting rule hath always been, if I can't make it for less, then buying it just became a-ok. Hence the ridiculous amount I spent on drawer knobs for his room. And he will never appreciate them. I know this. He's a boy. I'm sure in three to five years I will be asked if they can be traded out for Lego Star Wars men. I will be devastated even though I see it coming already.

The other part is that I'm a taaaaadddd specific on how things need to be sometimes. That's the nicest way I can say super Type A and anal. Emphasis on super. When I get set on how I want something to be, it better be that way or good luck everybody and sorry Chuck.

This is what happened with the mobile.
Here is my final product and we will back up from there, even though making one is pretty self explanatory - I'm that in love with it. It gets it's own post. Just imagine how many posts Sam will get....in the first day alone...

I love this style. It's all over Pinterest and I adore it. Thank god for Pinterest or I wouldn't know what my style was supposed to be... But every one that I found on Pinterest had something that I deemed "wrong" with it: price, pattern, colors, density. Picky, picky, picky.

Photo from here.

This was the closest one I found for color and matched my overly high expectations, but for my Sam's nursery it still wasn't quite right and I could never pull the trigger on it.

Photo from here.

 I saw a lot of this style on Pinterest and Etsy, but it's just not dense enough for me. Plus it has some of the nursery colors but not all. And, the nursery "theme" is colors AND patterns mismatched. C'mon people.  Obviously. Such a no brainer.

So I found a tutorial on Pinterest that seemed to be about what I was going for, but I knew I could "Susie-fy" it, and make it cheap and make it the right colors and patterns for Sam's room.

My total investment on this mobile was $20. That includes $14 for the hole punch. Now that I have the hole punch, I can make these for super cheap or lend the punch to you and you can make one for super cheap. You're probably going to get one for Christmas.

The supplies:

  • Lots of paper depending on how dense you want this mobile to be. You need card stock for sure to make the circles heavy. I matched the card stock with a patterned scrapbook paper. That's me. I had 16 pieces of paper total which worked for my mobile.
  • Double stick tape
  • Fishing line
  • Embroidery hoop - you use the inside of the two hoops, the one that DOESN'T have the clasp that opens the hoop. Chuck lovingly spray painted mine white. I can send him to you.
  • Hole Punch. I ended up with a 2 1/4 inch hole punch and that was a perfect size for me. But...this first picture is actually a lie. That is not the hole punch I ended up using. That one is a Martha Stewart hole punch from Michael's. I figured it would be amazeballs since her royal highness of crafting had her name on it. Um, no. My first graders can cut circles better than that thing. I wish that was an exaggeration but it's not. That hole punch is magnetic so it can cut a circle on any spot in the paper. This would be great if it didn't mangle the circles in the process. I wanted circles, not chewed up holes. I returned it and bought this one from Amazon and it was life changing. Always says something about your life when things like hole punches are life changing.

 Punch your holes. Here are my pretty little maids all in a row (name the movie).

Start assembling. This is where a fully stocked DVR comes in real handy. I got a lot of Grey's Anatomy watched during this process (yes, I still watch that show. It's like my marriage: I've invested way too much time to just walk away and not find out how it ends.). To assemble, cut a string of fishing line. Tape it to something hard. I started with this book but eventually moved to the kitchen table. Lay each circle down one at a time and add two pieces of double stick tape in a cross shape. Stick to the fishing line and cover carefully with your other circle. Keep each circle pretty close to the next one. Mine were touching. Each of my circles is one part card stock, one part scrapbook paper.

Tie the fishing line to the hoop. I also ran two pieces of fishing line through the middle of the hoop so I could have some hanging down from the center.

And just keep repeating until it looks right to you.

The end.

one month to d-day.

We are 30 days to d-day.

No, I'm not having night terrors yet about labor. I still believe fairies will come and gently extract baby from me and all will be well and happy and terrific. Clearly, my favorite hobbies right now are baby crafting, dreaming of baby, and lying to myself. Whatever. I'm super fine with it.

As far as being ready for what's coming in the next 30 days...we have officially finished birthing classes so I guess that means we are at least somewhat "prepared" for what is about to happen (?). Or at least the prepared you feel as a first time parent that is making all you seasoned veterans giggle at me. At least I can be of comic relief for you. "Oh she has no idea."

Side note about birthing class: Chuck and I should never be allowed to take classes together. I had forgotten that there was a reason we never took a single college class together, even at the 100 level. We are not even close to mature enough to handle the subject matter of birthing class, first off, and then sitting by each other during class is not a good call. Had it been socially acceptable for us to sit apart during class, we would have done so or been separated. As a teacher, I would have separated us.

For example, my blurted out answer of "Vampire Diaries" for coping mechanisms during the early stages of labor got one giggle in a room of 26. You can guess where that giggle came from. And during the first birth video, Chuck rubbing my back and saying "you just let your inner goddess fly" is why I'm pretty sure he will be the first husband kicked out of the delivery room for UNfocusing the mother-to-be. These are just tip of the ice berg.

By the end of class one, we could barely look at each other and had angled our chairs so that we weren't sitting perfectly next to each other anymore, which helped our behavior. We had also each separately come up with nicknames for key people in our class and most of our nicknames matched - we are soul mates. For example, there was Super Bad girl (she looked like Michael Cera's love interest), Super Inappropriate Guy (who at one point in the first class burped in my ear so naturally we sat by that couple at every class just to see what he would do), and Jennifer Lawrence (who eventually became "Uh huh" girl because she was one of those people who constantly agrees, sighs, etc with the person speaking).

Clearly, we are terrible people and cannot handle serious situations. Or rather, we can, we just do so in a totally unprofessional and immature fashion. You should hear some of the things we said at the fertility clinic. Such good times.

We filled out our birth plan a few days ago and for the question "What kind of environment do you want to create during labor?" we basically came up with nothing. Well, nothing that we were willing to write down on a birth plan. We chose "relaxed" as our word. As in, from what we've seen of ourselves under pressure with infertility, we like to keep things pretty relaxed. We'll see how that goes. I've already got a gift packed for the poor nurse stuck with us. Bless her soul and probably pray for her.

Well, that's about all for today. Here is my 35 week picture. Week 36 begins on Friday so let the countdown to Baby Allison begin (he better not over stay his welcome or try for a late check out.)

finally. it's nursery time.

It should be of no surprise to you that I'm blogging right now. It's Spring Break and I am having a wonderful time. Apparently, the weather did not get the memo that it is Spring Break, but my heart did, skipped a beat, and I am in Vacation Susie mode. And as we all know, Vacation Susie is the best Susie there is.

The nursery is finally "done". I use the term done as loosely as possible. It's done in the sense that it is adorable and decorated and so cute I want to marry it. It is not, however, a fully functioning baby room with things like wipes and diapers and creams. I'll get right on that. Whatever. I have plenty of time, no rush. It's not like I'm a month from my due date or anything...(wink).

I'm pretty stinking proud of how this nursery came out. It wasn't cheap cheap to put together - I'll be honest - but it was done on a budget and doesn't fall into the ridiculous category of "who could ever afford this" (that should be a separate sub category on Pinterest). It's not a Mercedes, but it's definitely not a Geo Metro. Think Subaru?

A fair share of things in this room were homemade/crafty/DIY - choose your term - and since I am blessed to be in Vacation Susie mode and have all the time in the world (except not - I swear I'm busier when I'm not working...chew on that), I'll post some how-tos throughout the week. Most of my projects involve having a lot of shows backlogged on your DVR, so that's step one for all my how-tos.

At the bottom of the post, I'll list where some of the big items are from for those of you who are curious.

Also, Jack was super excited about nursery picture taking day. You'll see.

I l-o-v-e this banner. Mostly because I made it and making it involved sewing it. I know. Pick your jaw off the floor and we can continue the nursery post. The formula for how to make them was perfected by sister-in-law Nan and my mother-in-law provided the necessary parental supervision of me using a machine with needles.

My school BFF Maggie (the one who wore a globe and played pregnant with me on twin day) drew these animals on printer paper. Then I traced them on scrapbook paper, glued them onto gray card stock and put them in cheap Michael's frames. Win.

We found these frames at TJ Maxx in the clearance aisle for $3 each. Nothing feel better than a TJ Maxx win and you know what I'm talking about. That is a high that you just can't get elsewhere. Chuck spray painted them white since I'm with child and we also painted an old mirror that went with my dresser from college. Half the printables were stolen from Pinterest and half were made by me in Photoshop because I'm that nerdy. The cat paw and tail are accent pieces.

Aunt Nan made the bumper - which looks solid light blue but is actually a pattern - and Grandma Vicky made the crib skirt. I super lucked out with those two.

When Shelley was pregnant with Lucy, I found this rocking chair, stripped it, sanded it into submission, and stained the life out of it. It was in Lucy's nursery and now it's in Sam's. I like that a whole lot.

These were plain IKEA curtains that I had always had in this room. Chuck's Mom spiced them up. She's so crafty.

And my biggest splurge in the room was...knobs. I know. Knobs. The dresser is from IKEA but I wanted to make it look a little more special that just IKEA. So, I went to Anthropologie (always so budget friendly...) and bought mismatching knobs to give it a little something extra. It was $70 in knobs, which sort of makes me want to vomit. Then, when I see how cute it is, I forget all about it because it is freaking adorable.

I love this style of mobile, but they are not cheap (says the girl who spent $70 on knobs). I couldn't find anything online that even remotely matched the room or was anywhere near what I was willing to pay. So I made this one. The hole punch broke the bank at $15, plus $5 for the other supplies. Good news is, now I own the whole punch and can make these for super cheap.

I am sorry, but he is the most stunning creature I have ever seen. Just. Plain. Gorgeous. BTW, he is super excited about being a big brother, and obviously, I mean not at all, world ending, good luck kitten.

So that's the room. I still have a few things to pick up - like a pillow for the rocking chair - but overall, we are done. I'll post the how-to on the banner and the mobile this week, mostly as proof that yes, I did make them.

Here's the list of where everything is from, in case you are interested. If you're not, then smell ya later.
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